If all the world's a stage, William Shakespeare is its architect.
The playwright died 400 years ago Saturday, but remains the world's most famous writer, living on through endlessly reinterpreted plays and globally known characters, including the tormented prince Hamlet and the star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet .
The long-dead Bard is one of Britain's leading cultural ambassadors, and the anniversary of his death on April 23, 1616, is being marked across Britain with parades, church services and — of course — stage performances. After all, the play's the thing. (That's just one of scores of phrases that Shakespeare has given the English language).